- Ford Motor Company, in partnership with Wieden+Kennedy New York and Mindshare, has collaborated with media brand Full Squad Gaming, per details shared with Marketing Dive.
- Ford built a mobile gaming studio inside a Transit Trail van, which will transport the Full Squad Gaming crew to TwitchCon, where the Gamer Van will be open to the public.
- While Ford vehicles have been licensed for games for the last 20 years, the activation sees the automaker stepping up its involvement with gaming to involve streaming, podcasting, event and influencer strategies.
Ford has licensed its vehicles to video games for years, appearing in Forza, Rocket League and others, but its Gamer Van activation looks to meet gaming where it is today: an always-on cultural channel. By engaging with gamers in a variety of ways, Ford looks to increase its relevancy with younger consumers. Full Squad Gaming is a digital media brand that launched in late 2020 and focuses on gaming video content for YouTube and TikTok that seeks to create and curate viral content to connect gamers.
The Gamer Van takes inspiration from gamers' rooms and includes a gaming desk, custom-built couch, reactive cloud ceiling, external gaming stations and more. It also has the ability to stream from anywhere. The van will transport the Full Squad Gaming crew and feature guest appearances from influencers Musty, Chell and Sapnap, who will film social content on the road. The trip will include a gaming camp at Mount Kare powered by the F-150 Lightning and off-roading with a Bronco Raptor at Mt. Potosi.
The trip will culminate with a stop at TwitchCon in Las Vegas (Oct. 20-23), where Full Squad Gaming will interview and podcast with gamers such as SypherPK, Daltoosh, Tarik and Andrea Botez. The Gamer Van will then be open to the public at the Ford booth at the convention. TwitchCon is an increasingly important convention for brands as they look to connect with Twitch viewers, 73% of whom agree advertising is important because it supports creators.
Automakers from Porsche to Toyota have made connections with gaming and esports in recent years. As part of its multicultural approach to marketing its new TX three-row crossover SUV, Lexus tapped gaming lifestyle brand 100 Thieves.
Ford last month appointed as global chief marketing officer Toyota veteran Lisa Materazzo, who noted an opportunity to "win the hearts and minds" of consumers by connecting product, service and ownership experiences through marketing.
Clarification: A previous version of this story included inaccurate information about Ford's partners on the project. The post has been updated.